“I am a true ‘80s and ‘90s type of guy,” says Michael McClinton in describing the music on his new CD, Still Holding On. “I was in bands back then and opened for acts such as King’s X, Manowar, Child’s Play, Firehouse, Winger and many others. It’s a wide range of everything, wrapped into one. When I started, it was a mix of that ‘80s and ‘90s style.”
The album was recorded with John Collura, who has built a stellar reputation in the business as guitarist with The Ataris. “When I met with John, we started to discuss what I was looking for in my music and how I wanted it to sound,” says Michael. “I’d take my songs to him, and we’d go over every part. If needed, we will rewrite and talk about what’s worth keeping and what’s going to be popular in the industry today. Some examples of what it’s like are Hinder, Stone Temple Pilots and Daughtry. There is a mix of songs. Every song fits, but they are not the same. This is what is making it come together so well. There is something for everyone.”
The musicians on the recordings include Paul Carabello, also a guitarist with the Ataris, John on the bass, and two drummers: Phil Robinson from The Autopilots, and Mike Hickey from Pictures In Braille. Michael has also put together a band to take on the road. “We have a big fan base,” he says. “Funny story, it started with a video of a song called ‘Walk Away.’ At that point it just got bigger and bigger. We now have fans all over the world. I get at least 10 to 20 emails a day from places such as Sweden, Australia, Japan, Norway, and across the USA. They’re asking when the CD will be released, or another video, or were they can get my music.”
The live band includes Joe Currie on keyboards, Johnny Race on lead guitar, Mike Oaks on rhythm guitar, Steve Greaves on bass, and Ed “Field Marshall” Lewis on drums. Joe was formerly in Rotgutt, which featured Anthony Cumia of Opie And Anthony fame.
Michael has received a lot of comments on the songs he has posted online, which gives him a good idea of which are the more popular ones. “Fans have responded saying they really like the songs ‘Good Friends,’ or ‘All In The Past.’ Then there are other fans that like the song ‘So Lost.’ I do not feel one song on the album is the same. It’s funny, YouTube has become my best friend, as well as Facebook.”
Personally, Michael’s favorite song is one of the newest tracks on the new album. “I would have to say one of my favorite songs would be the newest song we just finished recording,” he relates. “It’s called ‘Change.’ When we recorded it the first time, I hated it. It’s just not me. I write the songs from my experiences, things that happen in my life. I’m the type of person who wears my heart on my sleeve when comes to my music. I found that most of my writing comes straight from my heart, and the people in my life.”
Hooking up with John, as well as Paul, turned out to be just what Michael needed to get his music to the next level. “I was recording in West New York and was very unhappy with what we were doing,” he recalls. “After losing my label, we were looking for a better way to record. So I talked to my new label, and they said that I could work with John. We started working together immediately. He told me, ‘This is how we do things,’ and we completed the first song. Everything seemed to fall into place from there. John and Paul are great producers and we work very well together.”
You can check out Michael at michaelmcclintonrocks.com. You can also hear Michael’s music on ilike.com, youtube.com and reverbnation.com. He also has a live DVD that is available by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My goals are set high, I would say,” Michael concludes. “I would love to play at the Grammys one day with my song ‘Walk Away.’ Then open my own recording studio and become a music producer.”
Michael and the band will be opening for Ace Frehley at Mulcahy’s in Centereach, NY, on Oct. 30.